In 2001, Marcus Sheridan stumbled across his first business and began installing pools. Nine years later with the help from incredible innovations of inbound and content marketing, Sheridan overcame the collapse of the housing marketing and became one of the most successful pool installers in the United States. River Pools and Spas is currently the most visited swimming pool website in the world. After his success in 2009, Sheridan started his sales, marketing and personal development blog called The Sales Lion. His name is now synonymous with inbound and content marketing excellence.
Shweiki Media Printing Company is excited to once again team up with Marcus Sheridan—president of The Sales Lion, international speaker, and successful business owner—to present a webinar regarding his new video series called “The Balance.” It is about trying to maintain a successful work-life balance.
Dave: I really love why you are doing this new series. I want to dig into it and talk about what your overall goals are.
Marcus: There are some people that are major planners who look at everything they do and want to know exactly what it will look like in the future. I am not the type of person who plans out everything. For me, I watch and listen to the marketplace, the people. Based on what I learn from observing and listening to people, I get impressions of things I should do. One of the things that I have noticed recently is that a lot of people are frustrated with the hustle culture in today’s society. Hustle culture refers to the desire and need to work harder, faster and longer. Many people are finding themselves mixed emotionally because they want to feel like they are successful professionally and personally but often think that they cannot have one without giving up the other. We have been celebrating the hustle culture for awhile and I thought why don’t we celebrate having a balanced life. There is nothing that says you cannot have both.
Dave: Was there anything specific that inspired you to start this video series? Any specific challenges?
Marcus: All of us have to make dozens of decisions every day about where we should direct our attention. Do I give it to my spouse, clients, community, etc? Who do I give my attention to? Personally, I always put family first because I believe that no success outside the walls of the home makes up for failures inside the home. There will always be a side of me that needs to spend time with my wife and kids but at the same time, there is a side that wants to be a bestselling author and international speaker. That is the balance that I have to deal with.
I have talked to so many people who have gotten depressed because they think they have to follow this hustle culture. It is really important to find what makes you happy and stop comparing yourself to what’s online.
Social media compounds comparisons to the nth degree. There is real life and then there is the life portrayed on Facebook. Facebook life is in a lot of ways a false advertising of profession, good times and healthy relationships. The fact of the matter is, whatever it is you are seeing on Facebook is not their life. If it looks awful, then it probably is not that bad. If it looks great, then most likely it is not that good. Normally, it is somewhere in the middle. However, because of what we see on Facebook and other social media sites, we are always in comparison mode.
Dave: With social media, you cannot judge outside perceptions by inside realities. I am interested in helping people understand that there are a lot of people out there who are struggling. What type of stories have you heard from other successful business people about their struggles?
Marcus: Some of the most successful people in the world of business have struggled. I know people who have been on the verge of mental breakdowns or are losing their families. Men, especially, do not like to show vulnerabilities.
Dave: Can you paint a picture about the type of people they are?
Marcus: They are business owners that have gone on to be Fortune 500 companies and people that have been featured in magazines for business success. For every person that has a good family life but is trying to grow professionally, there is another person crushing it professionally but struggling personally. I think we need to talk about how to maintain both personal and professional lives. There are certain things that can be done to ensure work-life balance.
Dave: One thing that might resonate more with business owners is the idea to schedule date nights. I remember a while back I was a workaholic. The only way I could break myself away from work was if it was on my schedule. It worked because if it was on my schedule I had to do it. Scheduling date nights is a great place to start. What is the number one thing people should stop doing immediately and what are some activities they should start doing right away to help create better balance in their personal and professional lives?
Marcus: The number one thing, by far, people can stop doing is comparing themselves. Easily one of the biggest sicknesses in society is the constant need for comparison. In order to do that, try asking, “What defines success for you?” Answer this question from a personal, professional and spiritual perspective.
Dave: How can people prioritize their time? Are there any time saving or efficiency tips?
Marcus: I am constantly in this mode of asking myself, “Is it possible?” Is it possible if I took my daughter with me when I traveled? Is it possible that I visited this person while I was traveling? By asking this question frequently, I tend to answer yes.
Dave: You did not start this video series because of any specific troubles. Right now, you are very successful and thinking about what to do next. I want to take you back to the time when you were having feelings of anxiety and self-doubt. Once you hear about successful people, you normally just see them at the time of being successful. How have you gotten to this place of success? It did not just happen overnight.
Marcus: I think everybody has that story. My buddies started a swimming pool company back in 2001 and I was their first employee. Then, I became the company’s third partner. A family friend once told me, “I hear you are going to be a pool guy…what a waste.” I got so offended by that. I could be successful as a pool guy if I wanted to be. How does a title make a person any more successful? When the company struggled and almost went bankrupt in 2009, I turned to the Internet. If I had not been a pool guy, I would not be talking to you today. It is the foundation for my whole life. There was a time where I was depressed because for two straight years I was working all day and getting about six hours of sleep a night. I wrote blogs and created videos to establish our business as one of the foremost in swimming pools. The Sales Lion was a present to myself and I began writing about these experiences we had with River Pools and Spa. I wrote for years and no one listened at first and then all of a sudden, people did start listening.
One of these moments that really changed everything for me was this new event called Content Marketing World. The gentlemen that runs it contacted and asked me to give a small 20-minute session. I was so poor at the time, I had to scrounge up all my money just to get a ticket and hotel in Cleveland. I was so broke I could not even afford a taxi from the airport to my hotel. I gave a 20-minute talk that was, perhaps, the best talk of my life.
Dave: I was there and it was the best talk that I have ever seen. Let me say, you did not appear poor or unsuccessful. You did not appear like you could not afford a taxi.
Marcus: No one talks about it. All I knew is that I had a chance. The night before, there was a gathering and I met all these people that I had been reading. They did not know who I was but I invited them to my talk and they came. I had three people come up to me and ask me to speak at their events. I was asked to write for the Social Media Examiner and for Social Media Marketing World. I was also asked to be the keynote speaker for the next Content Marketing World. Everything really changed for me in that moment and it was all because I made that decision back in 2009 to talk about what I was doing via The Sales Lion.
Dave: Hearing that story, it really makes me think that everything happens for a reason. Any parting thoughts?
Marcus: My only hope for the listeners is that your thoughts are centered are on you and where your life is. What do you define as success? What do you define as happiness? Do not allow yourself to get sucked into this cycle of comparison. Know your priorities and always ask yourself, “Is it possible?” If you do these things, then you will see that you have more balance in your life.
Dave: How can people follow you and see “The Balance” and continue to learn from you?
Marcus: You can find me on TheSalesLion.com. If you go to podcasts, you will see “The Balance.” You can also find my podcast “Mad Marketing” which is about marketing and business in life. My twitter is @TheSalesLion and you can even email me at email@example.com